Looking Back, Moving Forward - Women Power the Vote! We Celebrate Suffrage and the League!
Celebrate with us as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of passing the Nineteenth Amendment, and the 100th birthday of the League of Women Voters on February 14, 2020.
Our special year-long celebration of the 19th Amendment began on August 24, 2019. A diverse group of women who fought for the vote, sometimes well after the passage of the 19th Amendment will highlight with photos and biographies. Many of these women are lesser-known heroines!
In April, the LWVUS board committed to developing a League-wide Day of Action for February 14, 2020, with the theme of ‘Women Power the Vote’. This Day of Action will complement any existing plans Leagues may have, staying true to our brand, and focusing on redistricting, a priority nationwide.
On this page, you'll find information and links for activities related to women's equality, women's suffrage, and the anniversaries of the 19th Amendment and the founding of the League of Women Voters.
The January 2020 Rose Parade will feature a Women's Suffrage Float! You can participate in several ways, from helping to decorate to actually walking (limited spots available) to buying a yellow rose to add to the float as a tribute.
Centennial Celebration Events
Upcoming National Events
The National Park Service has a wonderful page on California women winning the vote -- check it out at It links to other National Park pages related to women's suffrage and history.
The National Archives has an exhibit called Rightfully Hers that features THE 19th Amendment document. The League is also featured in this very high-profile exhibit with historical documents that will be on display to the public until January 2021. We are also proud to have Virginia Kase included on their honorary committee and are in conversation with the Archives about other opportunities for collaboration. There will be a traveling exhibit and LWVUS is working with the Archives to make some materials available to Leagues in the coming months.
The Women's Vote Centennial Initiative (WVCI) is a collaborative of organizations and individuals committed to preserving and honoring women's suffrage history. The League of Women Voters is a WVCI Taskforce partner, meaning that our League is too. This organization has a lot of resources for suffrage celebration, including an interactive toolkit. WVCI is looking to feature events and activities in all 50 states.
The 2020 ONE WOMAN, ONE VOTE Festival is a collaboration with national organizations and cultural institutions to present films, concerts, exhibitions, and public events leading into the centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment guaranteeing U.S women the right to vote. Named for the 1995 film "One Woman, One Vote", the festival is based in Washington DC but the blog posts and film recommendations can be used by all.
Find the stories of California suffragists, including many from the Bay Area, in the interactive map of burials and memorials to them on this site.
It took 35 states to ratify the 19th Amendment. Follow this art project as it creates a flag to commemorate each of those states. (Scroll down on the HerFlag website to see the road trips, including California in November!)
Book recommendation: Historical fiction based on the lives of two sisters involved in the abolitionist movement as well as the suffrage movement, "The Invention of Wings", by Sue Monk Kidd, has also been made into a Lifetime movie. Read a review here:
How Women Got the Vote
A Quiz by Keith Williams was published in the New York Times on June 4, 2019 (the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment by the US Congress). Test your knowledge!
Bay Area League Day
February 29, 2020
Join League members from across the Bay Area for a day-long conference called "Back, Moving Forward."
Authors Susie and Steve Swatt,
Authors of "Paving the Way: Women's Struggle for Political Equality in California" will set the scene presentation panels.
Napa League Centennial Celebration and Program Planning Meeting
February 15, 2020
9:30 - 10:30 am
Continental Breakfast and celebration
10:30 am - 1:00 pm
Program Planning Meeting
Napa Valley College, McCarty Library Community Meeting Room
2277 Hwy 29, Napa, CA
The 19th Amendment
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
-19th Amendment, United States Constitution
The 19th Amendment was passed by the US Congress on June 4, 1919 and sent for ratification to the states. It was ratified by Tennessee, the 36th and last state needed, on August 18, 1920 and officially adopted on August 26, 1920 (a date now celebrated annually as Women's Equality Day). The fight for women's suffrage had taken over 70 years since the Declaration of Sentiments, calling for equality between the sexes and a resolution for women's suffrage, was signed by 68 women and 32 men at the Seneca Falls convention in 1848.
New territories and states, particularly in the West, started to grant women the right to vote in the late 1800's. Wyoming was the first state to enact full suffrage for women in 1869. Other states followed, including California, in 1911. By the late 1890's, however, the momentum had shifted to passing a national amendment while continuing the fight at the state and local level.
Three generations of dedicated suffragists waged the 72 year battle to pass the 19th Amendment. Many who had started the movement were no longer alive when success came. During this landmark 100th anniversary year, we will honor and celebrate the suffragists (women and men) who had the courage and determination to ensure that women were able to vote and to capture their power as citizens.